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Last Post 20 Nov 2023 08:18 PM by Linda Grau
ACJA §§ 7-202 (Fiduciary), 7-203 (Conf. Intermediary), 7-205 (Def. Driving), 7-206 (Cert. Reporter), 7-208 (Legal Doc. Preparer)
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New Member
Posts:6 New Member

19 Oct 2023 03:21 PM
    Aaron Nash
    Director, Certification & Licensing Division
    Arizona Supreme Court and Administrative Office of the Courts
    1501 W. Washington St., Ste. 104
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    [email protected]
    Comment deadline is November 20, 2023

    With few and limited exceptions, the professions regulated by the Arizona Supreme Court do not receive state general funds for operational expenses. Fees from regulated professionals support the staff and resources required to maintain the programs, which includes qualifying examinations, screening and processing initial and renewal applications, investigating complaints, responding to public inquiries, and staffing the regulatory boards and committees.
    Fee changes are proposed to the following Arizona Code of Judicial Administration sections:
    7-202 – Fiduciaries,
    7-203 – Confidential Intermediaries,
    7-205 – Defensive Driving,
    7-206 – Certified Reporters, and
    7-208 – Legal Document Preparers.
    Fee changes are proposed to keep the programs financially solvent against inflationary pressure, to offset the cost of related manual and technology processes, and to conform fees where practical. Changes would take effect on signature of the Court’s Administrative Order implementing the changes.
    In some instances, such as initial and renewal fees, the proposed changes bring regulated professions more in line with each other. In some instances, changes conform the fees across sections for the same services, such as the fee to change a name or for late submission of continuing education.
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    23 Oct 2023 05:20 PM
    I think it would be a very unfortunate decision to include CIs as though this were a business. It is already difficult to attract new CIs to go through the rigors of qualifying and training. Raising fees would be a detriment to the program. I think all of the Confidential Intermediaries who have been hanging in here all these years do it truly as a service. We are obviously in a different category from the other divisions overseen by the CLD. Even though the work of the CIP will continue to dwindle over the years (and we CIs will all age out), it would be a shame for the adoption triad to lose the option of utilizing a Confidential Intermediary. Alice Ernst, Confidential Intermediary since 1998
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    02 Nov 2023 06:31 PM
    Increasing the renewal fee by 50% could place an undue burden on the mostly-retired individuals who serve as confidential intermediaries. With the availability of genetic testing and changes in statute, CIs have seen a decrease in case load which makes it more difficult to cover the expenses associated with certification.
    Many CIs charge clients only the expenses incurred during a case and do not charge the total number of hours needed to complete a case, instead preferring to donate their time to help clients find answers.
    A more modest increase in fees that CIs are charged would be more tolerable and not cause CIs to weigh the pros and cons of renewal.
    D. Stubbs, Confidential Intermediary, certified since 1998
    New Member
    Posts:3 New Member

    10 Nov 2023 10:25 AM
    A five times increase in the renewal registration fee for Registered Reporting Firms ($50 to $250) is unfair to the court reporters who live and work in Arizona and run a court reporting business while also having to be licensed individually as court reporters.

    I believe there should be a much larger initial registration and renewal registration for firms that want to register to do business in Arizona that do not actually have a physical office in Arizona. I run a small business in Yuma, Arizona, and have to maintain my registration as a firm while competing with out-of-state court reporting firms that will register in Arizona even if it's only to be able to provide court reporting services to their client in one case that they have pending in Yuma County.

    Out-of-state firms should be paying a larger share of the administration of our program. I believe a much larger initial registration fee for out-of-state firms is appropriate ($500). I believe the renewal period for a registered firm is every five years; so an in-state renewal of $100 and an out-of-state at $250 would seem more reasonable to me.

    Looking at the list of registered reporting firms, I see 159 total registered firms and 72 have out-of-state addresses. That is roughly 45 % of our registered firms that are out-of-state. I believe a large portion of the Arizona registered firms are small to medium-sized businesses run by Arizona-licensed court reporters.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Michele E. Balmer, RPR, AZ CR # 50489, CA CSR # 14005
    Yuma Court Reporters, LLC
    Registered Firm # #R1016
    New Member
    Posts:2 New Member

    10 Nov 2023 02:14 PM
    It would be a hardship on many reporters to increase the rates for certification and recertification. The rates were just raised a couple of years ago. Our per page rate has remained the same for the official reporters for over 30 years. I would think you should be looking at raising that rate instead of raising our
    renewal fees. There is a shortage of Court Reporters in Arizona now. I don't think raising rates is going to help that.
    New Member
    Posts:1 New Member

    20 Nov 2023 08:18 PM
    Thank you for your consideration regarding our input pertaining to the proposed change to the ACJA 7-208(K) fee schedule. Desert Financial Credit Union and its actively certified individual LDP certificate holders represent a total of 18 certifications. No less than 3 more teammates will apply for certification and/or sit for the exam during Q1 of 2024. We are a large team (if not the largest) providing access to thousands of Arizonans every year. Our estate planning document preparation division has grown exponentially and will continue to grow in the years ahead.

    Relative to changing economic conditions, we understand the need to adjust the fees. However, our years of experience with the submission and processing of dozens of initial and renewal applications is that the processing of these applications results in 9-18 months of delays before Board review from the time the complete application and fingerprints have been submitted. This is contrary to our continuing to grow our team in a manner matching the demand for certified LDP services. May we please request/recommend the Arizona Judicial Council consider tying the increased fees to structured service expectations (i.e. establishment of processing timelines/accountabilities with the goal of timely Board presentation for certification and renewal decisioning)?

    Linda Grau, AZCLDP No. 81609
    Desert Financial Credit Union, AZCLDP No. 81024
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